A Farewell to the New Order With Jokowi?
Jakarta. Joko Widodo’s victory in Indonesia’s presidential election has inspired fresh hope that the country can finally resolve human rights abuses that have gone unaddressed for decades, as well as sweep away all vestiges of the New Order era that continue to pervade the government and politics.
For many observers, Jokowi, as the country’s soon-to-be seventh president is popularly known, represents the best break from Indonesia’s dark past because he was never a part of the New Order.
Jokowi, 53, was born into a low-income family and raised in the sleepy Central Java town of Solo, before getting into business making and selling wood furniture.
He only entered politics in 2005 — seven years after the fall of the strongman Suharto, the architect of the New Order — when he ran for mayor of Solo and won, with the support of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, or PDI-P, which was long the thorn in the New Order’s side.
He was re-elected in 2010 with more than 90 percent of the vote, before leaving mid-office to run for governor of Jakarta in 2012. Two short years and a media frenzy later, Jokowi has been named the winner of the 2014 presidential election.
That history, observers say, is tellingly clear of any ties with the New Order — unlike the track record of his opponent, Prabowo Subianto, who was a military general under Suharto and was even married to the dictator’s daughter until 1998.
During his time in the military, Prabowo commanded the Army Special Forces, or Kopassus, a feared killing squad, and later the Army Strategic Reserves, or Kostrad, before being discharged for his involvement in the abduction of pro-democracy activists who had been agitating for Suharto’s resignation.
But his checkered human rights record began much earlier, with allegations of involvement in the killings of civilians in the then-occupied territory of East Timor.
“Jokowi doesn’t have past burdens, like Prabowo; he’s not among alleged perpetrators of human rights abuses,” Asvi Marwan Adam, a historian at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, or LIPI, tells the Jakarta Globe.
“He also doesn’t give promises [of political posts] to members of his coalition — unlike the case with Prabowo and SBY [President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono],” he adds.
“With Jokowi as president, there’s a bigger possibility that we can finally resolve the human rights abuses of the past, and I certainly hope he will be able to settle them.”
Asvi says it helps that Jokowi’s PDI-P, whose chairwoman, Megawati Soekarnoputri, Sukarno’s daughter, was in the opposition during the New Order’s 32-year rule.
The same cannot be said of Prabowo, whose biggest coalition partner is the Golkar Party — Suharto’s very own political vehicle, whose ranks are still studded with holdovers from the dictator’s era.
Not the package
But many of the key people Jokowi has surrounded himself with do have links to the New Order, says Bonnie Triyana, the founder of Historia magazine.
Most notable among them is Jokowi’s running mate, Jusuf Kalla, who chaired Golkar from 2004 to 2009. There is also Wiranto, the chairman of the People’s Conscience Party, or Hanura, a coalition partner, who served as the last military chief of staff under Suharto.
Other Suharto-era generals, long since retired, have flocked around Jokowi, including A.M. Hendropriyono, a former head of the State Intelligence Agency, or BIN, who has been accused of, but never charged over, a deadly military crackdown on civilian protesters in Talangsari, Lampung, in 1989.
Also in Jokowi’s inner circle are the Wanandi brothers, Jusuf and Sofjan, prominent businessmen who owed their fortunes to their close ties with the Suharto regime.
“As an individual, Jokowi is relatively clean compared with other leaders,” Bonnie says. “He’s also spoken about how he wants to solve the case of the disappearance of Wiji Tukul, who was also from Solo.”
Wiji, a poet, was among 13 pro-democracy activists kidnapped in the unrest that led to Suharto’s resignation in 1998. He has never been seen since.
“But looking at the people behind Jokowi,” Bonnie goes on, “and given that political horse-trading is inevitable in a democracy like ours, it will be difficult” to cut all ties with the New Order.
Arguably the most serious of the past abuses that Jokowi will be expected to address is the purge from 1965-66 of suspected members and sympathizers of the Indonesian Communist Party, or PKI, in which up to a million people were estimated to have been killed.
The Yudhoyono has categorically refused to open an inquiry into the matter (the president’s late father-in-law, Sarwo Edhie Wibowo, was one of the military generals who led the pogrom), and school textbooks continue to propagate the lie that the communists had to be exterminated because they had attempted a coup to unseat then-president Sukarno.
Independent historians agree that the PKI was simply a scapegoat for the military as it sought to wrest power from Sukarno.
“The new government and the state must be able to guarantee justice [...] including the resolution of past human rights abuses,” Bonnie says. “What important is the political will. It is important for the state to admit that there were past violations and to apologize for them.”
Both Bonnie and Asvi see Kalla as helping rather than hindering on this front, despite his association with Golkar.
“Although he was part of the New Order, he has been a proven peacemaker for Indonesia, mediating in conflicts in Aceh and Poso,” Asvi says.
Kalla is also expected to rally support from Golkar legislators, who will comprise the second-biggest bloc when the new House of Representatives goes into session in September, to help push through government programs and policies.
Bonnie notes that the New Order has left behind more than just unanswered rights abuse cases.
“Our perspective, the way we look at things, is still very much influenced by the New Order,” he says.
He cites the popular notion that Yudhoyono is a dithering and indecisive leader, pointing out that the corollary is that people feel nostalgic about what they perceive as Suharto’s strong leadership.
Prabowo has preyed on this sentiment, exploiting it to garner nearly half of all votes in the July 9 election.
“Since the fall of Suharto, our enemy is the New Order’s legacy,” Bonnie says. “Jokowi’s win, we hope, will change all that.”
22 July 2014
Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges
Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo must deliver on campaign promises to improve Indonesia’s dire human rights situation, Amnesty International said.
Widodo, who today was confirmed as winner of the 9 July presidential elections, has pledged to champion human rights during his time in the office – inncluding addressing serious past human rights abuses, protecting freedom of religion, reforming the police and opening up access to Papua for international observers.
"It’s encouraging that President Widodo has talked about his commitment to human rights during his election campaign – now he must deliver," said Richard Bennett, Amnesty International’s Asia Pacific Director.
"The new government has the opportunity to turn a page to an era when human rights are genuinely respected in Indonesia. Widodo’s victory will have raised the hopes of many brave human rights activists and victims who have struggled against impunity for years – those hhopes must not be dashed."
"As a very first step, we urge the new administration to undertake a thorough assessment of Indonesia’s human rights record over the past decade and formulate a clear action plan. Crucially, this must be done together with civil society and other key actors."
In April 2014, Amnesty International published a human rights agenda for Indonesia’s next president, outlining eight pressing issues that must be top of the new administration’s agenda. (see http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA21/011/2014/en). These include:
Combat the climate of impunity for past crimes
The President should instruct the Attorney General Office to complete investigations in relation to crimes under international law, it has received from the National Human Rights Commission and other bodies and bring the perpetrators to justice. Further, a National Truth Commission should be established in line with international law and standards which can also recommend reparation measures to address the suffering of victims.
Respect for freedom of religion and religious tolerance
Respect for freedom of religion and religious tolerance have clearly deteriorated in recent years. The new administration should repeal all laws and regulations that discriminate against religious minorities which have been used to justify harassment and attacks against them.
Human rights abuses by the police
Amnesty International has documented a range of human rights violations committed by the police, including unlawful killings, torture and other ill-treatment and unnecessary or excessive use for force and firearms. Criminal investigations into human rights violations by the police are all too rare, leaving many victims without access to justice and reparations. The National Police Commission should be made operationally independent of the government, political influence and the police itself. Its mandate should empower it to, among other things, carry out effective investigations and refer cases directly to the Public Prosecutor.
Release prisoners of conscience
Dozens of prisoners of conscience, particularly those from Papua and Maluku, remain behind bars for their peaceful political activism in Indonesia, and must be immediately released. Their ongoing imprisonment highlights the continued lack of respect for freedom of expression in certain parts of Indonesia. Amnesty International also calls on President Widodo to allow free and unimpeded access to Papua for international observers, including NGOs and foreign journalists, as he promised during his visit to Papua during the election campaign.
Promote and protect human rights in ASEAN
Indonesia, which has the region’s highest GDP and hosts the Association of South East Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) headquarters in Jakarta, is quickly emerging as a leader in South East Asia. The country’s next president must take this role seriously and set an example for neighbours, and the world, on human rights. Indonesia has already played a positive role in setting up some key ASEAN human rights bodies since 2007 – this commitment must coontinue under the new administration in particularly to strengthen the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) to be a truly independent and robust body that protects as well as promote human rights in the region.
For more information please call Amnesty International’s press office in London, UK, on press
Jokowi named president-elect
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Election Watch | Tue, July 22 2014, 9:41 PM
The General Elections Commission (KPU) announced the official final vote tally and named Joko "Jokowi" Widodo president-elect with a total vote of 70,997,833, or 53.15 percent, on Tuesday evening.
"The KPU declares candidate pair Joko Widodo-Jusuf Kalla as president-elect and vice president-elect," KPU chairman Husni Kamil Malik said at an official announcement broadcasted live on TV from the KPU headquarters in Central Jakarta on Tuesday evening.
During the announcement, KPU chairman Husni Kamil Malik said rival candidate Prabowo Subianto had garnered 62,576,444 votes, or 46.85 percent.
Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) chairman Muhammad also confirmed that the final vote tally result was equal with the agency’s data.
Husni said all KPU commissioners and candidate witnesses had signed the formal final result document. (gda/dic)
Protests against 1969 annexation of West Papua held in three Java cities
Selangkah Magazine – July 15, 2014
Admin MS, Yogyakarta — Insisting that the annexation of West Papua into the
Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) through the 1969 referendum
(Pepera) was done undemocratically and was a gross human rights violation, the
Papuan Students Alliance (AMP) has held peaceful actions in several university
cities in Java.
In the Central Java provincial capital of Semarang, the AMP took to the
streets calling for a review of the 1969 Pepera saying that it was done under
pressure from the Indonesian military so that Papua would become part of
Semarang city AMP chairperson Otis Tabuni told Selangkah Magazine that the
1969 Pepera should have been done with the highest respect for the choice of
each individual of the Papuan nation under the principles of one person one
vote, but instead what took place was a consensus process where 1026 people
selected by Indonesia were allowed to represent the around 800,000 Papuan
people at the time.
In a press release the AMP made three demands. First, that the 1969 Pepera was
undemocratic and called for a referendum to be held for the Papuan people.
Second, calling for the withdrawal of all organic and non-organic military and
police (TNI-Polri) from the land of Papua in order to put an end to all forms
of humanitarian crimes by the Indonesian state against the Papuan people.
Third, close down and halt all exploitative activities by multi-national
corporations throughout the land of Papua owned by imperialists countries
including Freeport, BP, LNG Tangguh, Medco and Corindo.
And finally, a demand that Papuans be given the freedom to determine their own
future as a democratic solution for the Papuan people.
In the Central Java city of Yogyakarta, hundreds of protesters from the
Yogyakarta city AMP were again blocked at Jl. Kusuma Negara by a joint force
comprising hundreds of police and Mobile Brigade (Brimob) officers as well as
a social organisation called the Police and Community Partnership Forum (FKPM)
that claimed to represent Yogyakarta Governor Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X.
The protesters were not allowed to continue the action to the nearby zero
kilometre point in front of the central post office as detailed in the letter
of notification that had been submitted to police.
The police along with the FKPM blockaded the road. In fact there were around
12 tactical police unit (Sabhara) trucks and 17 police and Brimob patrol cars
that collaborated to halt the AMP demonstration.
This was precisely the same as what happened at an AMP action on July 1 when
they were commemorating the proclamation of West Papuan independence in
Victoria on July 1, 1971.
In the West Java provincial capital of Bandung meanwhile, protesters from the
AMP also took to the streets with the same demands.
The Papuan students from the AMP demanded that the Pepera be held again saying
that the 1969 Pepera was not in accordance with international law and ridden
with intimidation and terror.
[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service.]
West Papuan political prisoners freed Activists vow to continue agitating for independence
Katharina R. Lestari, Jakarta Indonesia
July 21, 2014
Five West Papuan political prisoners were released on Monday after serving three-year sentences in a Jayapura prison.
The activists were arrested in October 2011 for reading out a "declaration of independence" from Indonesia. Those released included prominent tribal leader Forkorus Yaboisembut, who was declared "president of the Federal Republic of West Papua" during the 2011 declaration of independence event; Edison Waromi, who was declared prime minister; as well as Agustinus Sanany Kraar, Selpius Bobii and Dominikus Sorbet.
Forkorus Yaboisembut, now age 59, told local media that the group had only been released because they had served their full jail terms.
"We will keep working together in the future until there is recognition [of our independence] and a transfer of sovereignty from the Republic of Indonesia to the Federal Republic of West Papua," he said.
In 1969, Indonesia held a referendum known as the ‘Act of Free Choice’, during which a vote was held and it was subsequently announced that the population had decided to relinquish West Papua’s sovereignty in favor of Indonesian citizenship. Rights monitors and West Papuan activists claim that the referendum was rigged and have since agitated for a re-vote. However, any political activities aimed at independence have been met with swift punishment from the Indonesian government.
Earlier this month, six activists from the National Committee for West Papua were reportedly arrested and beaten for distributing leaflets calling on the West Papuan people to boycott the presidential election.
Fr Neles Kebadabi Tebay, who is a rector of Fajar Timur School of Philosophy and Theology in Abepura, told ucanews.com that the activists could face re-arrest if they continue agitating for independence.
"I, however, think that such arrests won’t solve the problem. The government of Indonesia and representatives of Papuans must sit together in a dialogue," Fr Neles added.
[Thanks to VIVAT International for organizing this letter -
Human Rights Abuses in Papua and West Papua
We, the undersigned organizations, are concerned about the serious and ongoing violations of Human Rights that are taking place with impunity in the easternmost provinces of Indonesia Papua and West Papua. The violations of Human Rights have been well-documentedi and have been brought to the attention of Indonesia during the second round of the UPR process. Thirteen nations made recommendations to Indonesia with regard to the obligation to respect human rights in Papua and West Papuaii.
In 1963 the UN Temporary Executive Authority transferred the administration of Papua to Indonesia. In 1969 Indonesia incorporated Papua through the UN sponsored plebiscite of the so-called “Act of Free Choice”. Since the beginning of its administration of Papua, Indonesia has committed very serious violations of human rights, similar to those that took place in nearby Timor-Lesteiii. The actions of the Free Papua Movement (Organisasi Papua Merdeka, or OPM) that was founded in 1965 to pursue autonomy, although normally non-violent, have occasionally been violent. The presence of small groups of armed resistance who have made occasional attacks have been used by the Indonesian Police, National Army, Intelligence Services and paramilitary forces as a justification for periodic massacres, extrajudicial executions, forced disappearances, arbitrary arrest and imprisonment, torture and collective punishment. Additionally, villages have been destroyed and whole communities have been forced to resettle with practical impunity.
The ongoing repression of human rights, in Papua includes the passing of laws that suppress freedom of the press, freedom of speech and association. Peaceful demonstrations are dispersed by force. In many instances non-violent participants have been arrested and tortured, while others have been killed. Many prisoners have died while in detention. According to data from Papuans Behind Bars, the number of political arrests has more than doubled in 2013 as compared with the previous year. Reports of torture and ill treatment of political detainees have also increased. Violations of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights are ongoingiv
Policies have been initiated that have made indigenous Papuans disproportionately suffer. Tribal lands have been confiscated; natural resources have been exploited by non-Papuans. From the 1970s Indonesia has also encouraged the large scale transmigration of settlers from other parts of the Indonesian Archipelago to Papua. Nearly 80% of the indigenous people now live in poverty without access to medical care, safe drinking water or education.
Prior to the annexation of Papua in 1969, Indonesia began to negotiate with multinational corporations allowing them access to large tracts of lands to carry out mining, logging, petroleum and gas operations, and to create industrial palm oil plantations. The expropriation of indigenous land has provoked peaceful protests that are often repressed by means that violate their human rights.
We urge the Government of Indonesia to implement the recommendations that Indonesia accepted at its Periodic Reviewv with regard to respecting human rights in Papua and West Papua, and to also reconsider the recommendations that Indonesia rejected.
We make the following recommendations to the Government of Indonesia:
June 2014: New Ormas Law used to back police repression in Papua
At the end of June 2014, there were at least 76 political prisoners in Papuan jails.
The West Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papua Barat, KNPB), a Papuan pro-independence activist organisation, was heavily targeted by Indonesian security forces this month. There were at least 24 arrests of KNPB members across Papua in Boven Digoel, Timika and Merauke. Police performed a mass arrest of 20 KNPB members in Boven Digoel under the auspices of the Social Organisations Law (RUU Organisasi Kemasyarakatan, RUU Ormas), claiming that the KNPB was an illegal organisation as it was not registered with the Department of National Unity and Politics (Kesatuan Bangsa dan Politik, Kesbangpol). The police also stated that any KNPB attributes such as flags and symbols were thus also considered illegal. The use of the Ormas Law to de-legitimise and control indigenous civil society groups, especially ahead of planned demonstrations or commemorative events, continues to place unacceptable limitations on freedom of assembly and expression in Papua.
The timing of crackdowns on KNPB members this month suggests that Indonesian authorities used arrests and raids to prevent activists holding events commemorating 1 July, a date Papuans consider to be their national day. There was also an election-related political arrest, following a common pattern during election periods in Papua, where pro-independence activists call for election boycotts, and are subsequently arrested. This month in Merauke, police arrested one activist and surrounded the KNPB Secretariat, claiming that the activists planned a socialisation event to boycott the 2014 Indonesian Presidential elections on 9 July 2014. Papuans Behind Bars has documented similar arrests in Bokondini in 2004 and in Nabire in 2009.
Meanwhile in the Netherlands, Iskandar Bwefar, a Dutch Papuan, was arrested in the Hague for peacefully waving a Morning Star flag during a procession celebrating Dutch Veterans Day. Dutch civil society groups reported that the flag, a symbol of Papuan identity, was banned from the parade procession by the Dutch House of Representatives following pressure from the Indonesian authorities. This arrest echoes that of three Papua New Guinea nationals in December 2013 when the Morning Star flag was raised during an event in Port Moresby. The willingness of foreign governments to legitimise the criminalisation of the Morning Star symbol, in contravention of international law and reports and opinions issued by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, is of particular concern. At a broad level, this development indicates that Indonesia is becoming increasingly pro-active in its efforts to quash support for Papuan independence among exile communities.
Twenty KNPB members arrested in Boven Digoel police raid
According to local activists, on 28 June 2014, 20 activists from the West Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papua Barat, KNPB) were arrested at their Secretariat in Boven Digoel. Around 50 Boven Digoel Regional police reportedly searched the KNPB Secretariat and damaged items such as pro-independence posters and KNPB flags. Police also confiscated several items including five handphones, a digital camera, KNPB flags, banners and money from the Secretariat, all of which were not returned. The 20 activists have since been released.
On 30 June, Natalis Guyop, the Head of KNPB Boven Digoel, along with other KNPB members visited the Boven Digoel Regional police station to demand an explanation for the police raid. The Head of Boven Digoel Regional police, Iswan Tato, reportedly told the activists that police raided the Secretariat because of an incident when the KNPB flag was raised in front of the Secretariat. He further explained that this was in accordance with national regulations stating that any organisations not registered with the Department of National Unity and Politics (Kesatuan Bangsa dan Politik, Kesbangpol) were considered illegal and therefore any of their attributes such as flags were also banned. The regulation in question is set out in the Social Organisations Law (RUU Organisasi Kemasyarakatan, RUU Ormas). Tato allegedly went on to threaten the activists, stating that police would forcibly disperse any KNPB activities and shoot to kill or arrest any KNPB activists. The KNPB in Boven Digoel has stated that they expect continued police surveillance.
Two detained in Yahukimo due to dissenting political beliefs
A report received from a local human rights investigator detailed recent arbitrary arrests of three men in Yahukimo, two of whom remain behind bars. On 21 May 2014, a group of around 30 Yahukimo regional police stopped and questioned human rights activist Lendeng Omu regarding his affiliations with the KNPB. He was severely beaten, kicked and struck with rifle butts before being arrested and detained in Yahukimo Regional police station. Upon hearing of this incident, local villagers reacted by burning down a police post on Halabok Road in Yahukimo.
The report alleges that on 4 June, without any credible basis, the Head of the Yali tribe in Yahukimo, Alapia Yalak, was arrested for this act of arson. According to eyewitnesses who were present at the time of his arrest, Yalak and another unnamed young man were arrested at around 22:30 Papua time in Yalak’s home in Yahukimo. Yalak and a group of friends were playing cards when around 20 members of a joint military and police task force forcibly entered his home, while around 30 security personnel surrounded Yalak’s home. The security forces were reported to have arrived in 16 vehicles and had released seven warning shots to intimidate the men. Yalak was dragged outside his home while the rest of the people present were threatened at gunpoint and forced to raise their hands in surrender. One of his friends, a young man who was asleep in the kitchen, had heard the commotion in the front room where the security forces entered, and attempted to escape through the back door. He was caught by police who were guarding the back of the house and subsequently arrested. He was released a few hours later.
According to this young man’s account, Yalak and he suffered cruel and degrading treatment at the hands of the security forces on their way to Yahukimo Regional police station. The two men were severely beaten and intimidated. On reaching the police station, police then reportedly forced the two men to remove all their clothes, whereupon 30 police officers allegedly took turns beating them. They were then made to crawl naked into the holding cell.
The next day, a group of local villagers demonstrated in front of Yahukimo Regional police station, demanding for the immediate release of Yalak and Omu. Yalak was transferred to Papua Police Headquarters (Polisi Daerah Papua, Polda) in Jayapura to undergo further investigation.
Information provided in the report strongly suggests that Yalak was arrested due to his political beliefs and support for Papuan independence. In 2009, as the Head of the Yali tribe in Yahukimo, he was invited to attend a meeting organised by the Indigenous People’s Body (Lembaga Masyarakat Adat, LMA), at which tribal leaders from around Papua discussed the issue of Special Autonomy with government officials. According to an account by Yalak, as elaborated in the report, tribal leaders were allegedly offered bribes by government officials in exchange for convincing their respective tribes to support Special Autonomy. Yalak was allegedly offered a bribe of IDR 50,000,000 or USD 4,200 by Yahukimo Regent Ones Pahabol. Pahabol has faced repeated accusations of corruption, most recently for embezzling state funds meant for university students in 2013. The tribal leaders were reportedly told, “If you say you want independence, you will not receive any money. If you support Special Autonomy, you will receive money.” Yalak reportedly responded that he refused to be cheated and bribed like his ancestors were in the 60s, and that his community wanted independence instead.
It remains unclear what charges Yalak and Omu face and whether they have any legal representation.
Three KNPB Timika activists detained overnight
Local human rights sources reported the arrest of three KNPB activists on 30 June 2014 in Timika. The three activists – Elon Airabun, Leo Wusei and Joni Korwa – were arrested during their night shift guarding the KNPB Timika secretariat. Activists report that no reason was provided for their arrest, although local sources report that the likely purpose of the arrests was to intimidate KNPB members into not holding events the following day celebrating 1 July, a date widely considered by Papuans to be their national day. The three men were released without charge the following day.
KNPB Merauke activist detained, Secretariat surrounded
Local activists reported that on 18 June 2014, police and Brimob officers surrounded the KNPB Secretariat in Merauke, questioning and turning away activists who attempted to enter the building. Simon Apay, an activist with KNPB Merauke was arrested and interrogated in Merauke Regional police station for half an hour before being released. According to local sources, the Head of the Regional Police Intelligence in Merauke stated that police surrounded the Secretariat as they had received information regarding a socialisation event organised by the KNPB and the People’s Local Parliament (Parlemen Rakyat Daerah, PRD) regarding a boycott of the 2014 Indonesian Presidential Elections. Local activists denied the planning of such an event.
Last month two KNPB activists, Ferdinandus Blagaize and Selestinus Blagaize, were arrested for possession of a referendum-related document and books on Papuan history that were intended for a socialisation event in their home village of Okaba. The two men remain in detention in Okaba District police station and the charges they face are unknown.
Ferdinand Pakage released
Information received from local human rights sources reported the release of Ferdinand Pakage from Abepura prison on 16 June. On 16 March 2006, Pakage was arrested under accusations of involvement in an anti-Freeport demonstration that led to clashes with the police, resulting in the death of one police officer. A total of 23 people were charged in relation to this incident, with Pakage and Luis Gedi receiving the most serious charges. Pakage was forced to confess to involvement in the incident under torture in detention, even though he was not involved in the demonstration. He was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment after an unfair trial where judges considered statements made under torture and defendants were forced to testify against one another. Defendants were threatened and beaten by Brimob members if they rejected indictments. As a result of severe beating by prison guards in Abepura prison in 2008, Pakage lost eyesight in his right eye, and continues to suffer pain and headaches. Repeated attempts by local NGOs to secure access for medical treatment have been unsuccessful throughout the last six years.
August Kraar released
According to information from a local human rights investigator, on 21 June 2014, August Kraar was released from Abepura prison. He was arrested alongside Dominikus Surabut, Forkorus Yaboisembut, Edison Waromi and Gat Wenda during the Third Papuan Peoples’ Congress on 19 October 2011. Selpius Bobii, the Chairman of the Congress, later surrendered to the police. Kraar was charged under Articles 106 and 110 for conspiracy to commit treason and Article 160 for public incitement to commit violence against the authorities. The Congress was attended by more than 4,000 Papuans and was a peaceful event at which the Morning Star flag was raised. It was heavily surrounded by 2,200 members of the Indonesian military and Brimob, on foot and in tanks. The remaining five detainees are expected to be released in late July.
Samuel Womsiwor released
Human rights lawyers have reported the release of Samuel Womsiwor three weeks after his detention on 15 May 2014. His release was secured by Cenderawasih University (Universitas Cenderawasih, UNCEN) authorities, who had pushed for his arrest in the first place. Womsiwor is part of a critical student collective who has been targeted for arrest, harassment and intimidation in the past several months.
Political trials and cases overview
Student demonstrator sentenced to six months’ imprisonment
On 11 June 2014, Kristianus Delgion Madai was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment by the Jayapura District Court under Emergency Law 12/1951 for reportedly smuggling eight 8.4mm calibre bullets from Jakarta to Nabire. Human rights lawyers have previously voiced their concern regarding his detention, stating that Madai had been targeted by the authorities as he was active in student demonstrations in Jakarta concerning Papuan issues. He is expected to be released at the end of July or in early August.
Deber Enumby still not given legal representation
A local human rights source reported that Deber Enumby, who was arrested in Kurilik village in Puncak Jaya on 4 January 2014 and is currently detained in Papua Police Headquarters, is still without legal representation. He was arrested following the theft of eight firearms from the Kurilik police post by suspected members of the National Liberation Army / Free Papua Movement (Tentara Pembebasan Nasional, TPN / Organisasi Papua Merdeka, OPM). He was charged with Emergency Law 12/1951 and potentially faces the death penalty, according to Papua police.
Trial for 11 men detained in 26 November arrests delayed
Information from human rights lawyers representing the 11 detainees arrested on 26 November 2013, reported that their trial has been fraught with delays. The men are charged with violence against property and persons under Article 170 of the Indonesian Criminal Code. They were accused of taking part in a demonstration on the day of their arrest which resulted in clashes with security forces. However, they state that they were in no way involved in the demonstrations. There have been no hearings for almost two months, and the legal limit of their detention ends on 30 July 2014.
Cases of concern
Dutch Papuan arrested for carrying Morning Star flag in Netherlands
On 28 June, Iskandar Bwefar, a Dutch Papuan, was arrested in the Hague, Netherlands, for waving a Morning Star flag during a parade commemorating Dutch Veterans Day. According to an interview with Bwefar on the Dutch news site Omroep West, he was pushed to the ground by five police officers within seconds of waving the Morning Star flag while observing the parade. When he tried to protest, a police officer stuffed his mouth with the flag. Bwefar was detained for several hours before being released. He was officially charged with breaching public order and fined €100.
A few days before Dutch Veterans Day, the Dutch House of Representatives agreed that Morning Star flags were not to be carried in the procession and could only be carried outside of the procession and on the Malieveld, the field where the procession took place. A Dutch NGO reported that there are strong indications that the ban was a result of Indonesian pressure. Similar arrests took place on 1 December 2013, where three Papua New Guineans were arrested in Port Moresby for their involvement in a Morning Star flag-raising ceremony. Governor Powes Parkop had told the Guardian Australia that the three men were targeted “due to undue pressure from the Indonesian government.”
Deterioration of freedom of expression in Papua highlighted at UN Human Rights Council
Franciscans International, the International Coalition for Papua (ICP), TAPOL, the Asian Legal Resource Centre, Pro Papua Foundation, Vivat International and the West Papua Netzwerk highlighted the deterioration of freedom of expression in Papua during the 26th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. On 11 June 2014, the coalition delivered an oral statement at the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Special Rapporteur on Peaceful Assembly and Association, revealing data showing that political arrests had doubled and reported cases of torture and ill-treatment had quadrupled in 2013 compared to the previous year. On 12 June, a side event was held discussing freedom of expression in West Papua. Panellists spoke on media freedom, torture, political prisoners and the lack of free access to Papua.
Note regarding removal of three detainees from the list of political prisoners
In our last update, we removed three detainees – Yahya Bonay, Astro Kaaba and Hans Arrongear – from the list of political prisoners. Papuans Behind Bars has been unable to obtain any information regarding the three men for more than a year and it is possible that they have been released. However, we will continue to report on their case should any new information come to light.
June 2014 Papuan political prisoners
|Prisoner||Arrested||Charges||Sentence||Case||Accused of violence?||Concerns reported re legal process?||Prison / Place of detention|
|1||Alapia Yalak||4 June 2014||Unknown||Police investigation pending||Yahukimo arrests||Yes||Yes||Papua Police Headquarters|
|2||Ferdinandus Blagaize||24 May 2014||Unknown||Police investigation pending||Merauke KNPB arrests||No||Uncertain||Okaba District police station|
|3||Selestinus Blagaize||24 May 2014||Unknown||Police investigation pending||Merauke KNPB arrests||No||Uncertain||Okaba District police station|
|4||Lendeng Omu||21 May 2014||Unknown||Police investigation pending||Yahukimo arrests||Uncertain||Yes||Yahukimo Regional police station|
|5||Otis Waropen||2 March 2014||Unknown||Police investigation pending||Nabire civilian accused of being OPM||Uncertain||Uncertain||Nabire|
|6||Kristianus Delgion Madai||3 February 2014||Emergency Law 12/1951||6 months||Sentani weapons smuggling arrests||Yes||No||Jayapura police detention|
|7||Jemi Yermias Kapanai||1 February 2014||Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951||Awaiting trial||Sasawa military raid arrests||Yes||Yes||Sorong|
|8||Septinus Wonawoai||1 February 2014||Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951||Awaiting trial||Sasawa military raid arrests||Yes||Yes||Sorong|
|9||Rudi Otis Barangkea||1 February 2014||Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951||Awaiting trial||Sasawa military raid arrests||Yes||Yes||Sorong|
|10||Kornelius Woniana||1 February 2014||Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951||Awaiting trial||Sasawa military raid arrests||Yes||Yes||Sorong|
|11||Peneas Reri||1 February 2014||Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951||Awaiting trial||Sasawa military raid arrests||Yes||Yes||Sorong|
|12||Salmon Windesi||1 February 2014||Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951||Awaiting trial||Sasawa military raid arrests||Yes||Yes||Sorong|
|13||Obeth Kayoi||1 February 2014||Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951||Awaiting trial||Sasawa military raid arrests||Yes||Yes||Sorong|
|14||Yenite Morib||26 January 2014||Unknown||Police investigation pending||Dondobaga church arrests||Yes||Yes||Puncak Jaya regional police station|
|15||Tiragud Enumby||26 January 2014||Unknown||Police investigation pending||Dondobaga church arrests||Yes||Yes||Puncak Jaya regional police station|
|16||Deber Enumby||4 January 2014||Emergency Law 12/1951||Police investigation pending||Kurilik firearms arrests||Yes||Yes||Papua Police Headquarters|
|17||Soleman Fonataba||17 December 2013||106, 110)1, 53, 55||Awaiting trial||Sarmi 2013 Morning Star flag arrests||No / not yet clear||No||Sarmi police detention|
|18||Edison Werimon||13 December 2013||106, 110)1, 53, 55||Awaiting trial||Sarmi 2013 Morning Star flag arrests||No / not yet clear||No||Sarmi police detention|
|19||Pendius Tabuni||26 November 2013||170)1,170)2 (3), 351)1||On trial||Demonstration in support of FWPC PNG office arrests||Yes||Yes||Abepura|
|20||Muli Hisage||26 November 2013||170)1,170)2 (3), 351)1||On trial||Demonstration in support of FWPC PNG office arrests||Yes||Yes||Abepura|
|21||Karmil Murib||26 November 2013||170)1,170)2 (3), 351)1||On trial||Demonstration in support of FWPC PNG office arrests||Yes||Yes||Abepura|
|22||Tomius Mul||26 November 2013||170)1,170)2 (3), 351)1||On trial||Demonstration in support of FWPC PNG office arrests||Yes||Yes||Abepura|
|23||Nius Lepi||26 November 2013||170)1,170)2 (3), 351)1||On trial||Demonstration in support of FWPC PNG office arrests||Yes||Yes||Abepura|
|24||Tinus Meage||26 November 2013||170)1,170)2 (3), 351)1||On trial||Demonstration in support of FWPC PNG office arrests||Yes||Yes||Abepura|
|25||Mathius Habel||26 November 2013||170)1,170)2 (3)||On trial||Demonstration in support of FWPC PNG office arrests||Yes||Yes||Abepura|
|26||Agus Togoti||26 November 2013||170)1,170)2 (3)||On trial||Demonstration in support of FWPC PNG office arrests||Yes||Yes||Abepura|
|27||Natan Kogoya||26 November 2013||170)1,170)2 (3), 351)1||On trial||Demonstration in support of FWPC PNG office arrests||Yes||Yes||Abepura|
|28||Nikolai Waisal||26 November 2013||170)1,170)2 (3), 351)1||On trial||Demonstration in support of FWPC PNG office arrests||Yes||Yes||Abepura|
|29||Penius Tabuni||26 November 2013||170)1,170)2 (3), 351)1||5 months||Demonstration in support of FWPC PNG office arrests||Yes||Yes||Abepura|
|30||Piethein Manggaprouw||19 October 2013||106, 110||2 years||Third Papuan Congress demo in Biak||No||Yes||Biak Regional police station|
|31||Apolos Sewa*||28 August 2013||106, 110||Under investigation||Freedom Flotilla arrests in Sorong||No||Yes||On bail|
|32||Yohanis Goram Gaman*||28 August 2013||106, 110||Under investigation||Freedom Flotilla arrests in Sorong||No||Yes||On bail|
|33||Amandus Mirino*||28 August 2013||106, 110||Under investigation||Freedom Flotilla arrests in Sorong||No||Yes||On bail|
|34||Samuel Klasjok*||28 August 2013||106, 110||Under investigation||Freedom Flotilla arrests in Sorong||No||Yes||On bail|
|35||Stefanus Banal||19 May 2013||170 )1||1 year and 7 months||Pegunungan Bintang police raid 2013||Yes||Yes||Abepura|
|36||Victor Yeimo||13 May 2013||160||3 years (handed down in 2009)||2009 demo; 13 May Jayapura demo||No||Yes||Abepura|
|37||Oktovianus Warnares||1 May 2013||106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951||5 years||Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration||Yes||Yes||Biak|
|38||Yoseph Arwakon||1 May 2013||106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951||2 years and 6 months||Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration||Yes||Yes||Biak|
|39||Markus Sawias||1 May 2013||106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951||On trial||Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration||Yes||Yes||Biak|
|40||George Syors Simyapen||1 May 2013||106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951||4.5 years||Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration||Yes||Yes||Biak|
|41||Jantje Wamaer||1 May 2013||106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951||2.5 years||Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration||Yes||Yes||Biak|
|42||Domi Mom||1 May 2013||106, 110||8 months||Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration||No||Yes||Timika|
|43||Alfisu Wamang||1 May 2013||106, 110||8 months||Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration||No||Yes||Timika|
|44||Musa Elas||1 May 2013||106, 110||8 months||Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration||No||Yes||Timika|
|45||Eminus Waker||1 May 2013||106, 110||8 months||Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration||No||Yes||Timika|
|46||Yacob Onawame||1 May 2013||106, 110||8 months||Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration||No||Yes||Timika|
|47||Hengky Mangamis||30 April 2013||106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164||1 year and 6 months||Aimas 1 May commemoration||No||Yes||Sorong|
|48||Yordan Magablo||30 April
|106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164||1 year and 6 months||Aimas 1 May commemoration||No||Yes||Sorong|
|49||Obaja Kamesrar||30 April
|106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164||1 year and 6 months||Aimas 1 May commemoration||No||Yes||Sorong|
|50||Antonius Saruf||30 April
|106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164||1 year and 6 months||Aimas 1 May commemoration||No||Yes||Sorong|
|51||Obeth Kamesrar||30 April
|106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164||1 year and 6 months||Aimas 1 May commemoration||No||Yes||Sorong|
|52||Klemens Kodimko||30 April
|106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164||1 year and 6 months||Aimas 1 May commemoration||No||Yes||Sorong|
|53||Isak Klaibin||30 April
|106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164||3 years and 6 months||Aimas 1 May commemoration||No||Yes||Sorong|
|54||Yogor Telenggen||10 March 2013||340, 338, 170, 251, Emergency Law 12/1951||Awaiting trial||Pirime shootings 2012||Yes||Yes||Wamena|
|55||Isak Demetouw (alias Alex Makabori)||3 March 2013||110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951||2 years 2 months||Sarmi treason||No||Yes||Sarmi|
|56||Niko Sasomar||3 March 2013||110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951||2 years 2 months||Sarmi treason||No||Yes||Sarmi|
|57||Sileman Teno||3 March 2013||110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951||2 years 2 months||Sarmi treason||No||Yes||Sarmi|
|58||Jefri Wandikbo||7 June 2012||340, 56, Law 8/1981||8 years||KNPB activist tortured in Jayapura||Yes||Yes||Abepura|
|59||Timur Wakerkwa||1 May 2012||106||2.5 years||1 May demo and flag-raising||No||No||Abepura|
|60||Darius Kogoya||1 May 2012||106||3 years||1 May demo and flag-raising||No||No||Abepura|
|61||Selpius Bobii||20 October 2011||106||3 years||Third Papua Congress||No||Yes||Abepura|
|62||Forkorus Yaboisembut||19 October 2011||106||3 years||Third Papua Congress||No||Yes||Abepura|
|63||Edison Waromi||19 October 2011||106||3 years||Third Papua Congress||No||Yes||Abepura|
|64||Dominikus Surabut||19 October 2011||106||3 years||Third Papua Congress||No||Yes||Abepura|
|65||Wiki Meaga||20 November 2010||106||8 years||Yalengga flag-raising||No||Yes||Wamena|
|66||Oskar Hilago||20 November 2010||106||8 years||Yalengga flag-raising||No||Yes||Wamena|
|67||Meki Elosak||20 November 2010||106||8 years||Yalengga flag-raising||No||Yes||Wamena|
|68||Obed Kosay||20 November 2010||106||8 years||Yalengga flag-raising||No||Yes||Wamena|
|69||George Ariks||13 March 2009||106||5 years||Unknown||Unknown||No||Manokwari|
|70||Filep Karma||1 December 2004||106||15 years||Abepura flag-raising 2004||No||Yes||Abepura|
|71||Yusanur Wenda||30 April 2004||106||17 years||Wunin arrests||Yes||No||Wamena|
|72||Linus Hiel Hiluka||27 May 2003||106||19 years and 10 months||Wamena ammunition store raid||Yes||Yes||Nabire|
|73||Kimanus Wenda||12 April 2003||106||19 years and 10 months||Wamena ammunition store raid||Yes||Yes||Nabire|
|74||Jefrai Murib||12 April 2003||106||Life||Wamena ammunition store raid||Yes||Yes||Abepura|
|75||Numbungga Telenggen||11 April 2003||106||Life||Wamena ammunition store raid||Yes||Yes||Biak|
|76||Apotnalogolik Lokobal||10 April 2003||106||20 years||Wamena ammunition store raid||Yes||Yes||Biak|
* Apolos Sewa, Yohanis Goram Gaman, Amandus Mirino and Samuel Klasjok are currently facing charges of conspiracy to commit treason. Even though they were bailed a day after their arrest, they are currently undergoing investigation and are vulnerable to re-arrest. They are currently obliged to report to the police twice a week.
Papuans Behind Bars aims to provide accurate and transparent data, published in English and Indonesian, to facilitate direct support for prisoners and promote wider debate and campaigning in support of free expression in West Papua.
Papuans Behind Bars is a collective effort initiated by Papuan civil society groups working together as the Civil Society Coalition to Uphold Law and Human Rights in Papua. It is a grassroots initiative and represents a broad collaboration between lawyers, human rights groups, adat groups, activists, journalists and individuals in West Papua, as well as Jakarta-based NGOs and international solidarity groups.
Questions, comments and corrections are welcomed, and you can write to us at info